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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Opportunities in Chinese market beckon Western high-tech firms

By Cecily Liu (China Daily)

13:58, November 25, 2011

PARIS - High-tech companies will see opportunities in the Chinese market amid the West's sluggish economic recovery.

Experts at the International Capital Conference in Paris also pointed out on Wednesday that those in the renewable energy and environmental protection sectors will probably see the most opportunity in China because the country sees the urgency for green growth.

Hu Rongqiang, chairman of the United World Chinese Association, said that the economic downturn in the West could mean that high-tech Western businesses will further invest in China through partnerships with Chinese companies.

"Innovation can be achieved through cooperation between different countries. Working together with Western businesses, we can promote Chinese strength, but we can't do it alone," Hu said, adding that many commercial opportunities exist in China's renewable energy and creative industry sectors.

But for existing investors in the Chinese market, there are not just opportunities, but also challenges.

"Sometimes, from the initial plan to the full-scale innovation, it can take a year in China, but in Europe it would be many years. If you innovate in China with your Western process, the timing will be wrong," said Olivier Delabroy, group vice-president of Air Liquide SA, a global gas supplier.

The French company has had a presence in China since 1916, but its investments have increased dramatically in recent years. In 2004, it had eight mid-sized and large plants in China, and today there are 59.

This week, Air Liquide secured a new contract to supply gaseous oxygen and nitrogen to the Maoming branch of Sinopec Corp, China's largest oil refiner. This contract will result in new investments at Air Liquide Hangzhou, the company's engineering center in China.

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